The amount of audio consumed by Black listeners is rising with most of the growth coming from streaming audio and podcast listening. Based on Scarborough USA+ data, it is incremental growth and not coming at the expense of broadcast radio.
According to Scarborough, 18.7 million African American persons 18+ listened to streaming audio from July 2020 through May 2021. That’s a 57% increase from 11.9 million from February 2014 through March 2015. The audience numbers include the online streams of broadcast radio.
While impressive, this expansion pales in comparison to the meteoric rise of podcast listening among Blacks during the same time span.The African American podcast audience grew from2.6 million to 6.7 million, a stunning 158% increase in six years.
Broadcast radio remains, by far, the largest audio platform for Black Americans at 26.2 million, mostly consistent with 26.5 million six years earlier. Satellite radio grew 44% from 3.2 million to 4.6 million but came in last of the four mediums tracked.
The numbers are from “The Black American Consumer’s Influence,” a new report from Katz Multicultural, part of the rep firm Katz Media Group. Released to coincide with Black History Month, the report plays up radio as a way to reach the expanding Black population, increased 18.7% from 2005 to 2020 and now totals 47 million. Based on U.S. Census data, the biggest increases during the past 10 year occurred in the Mountain, New England, and West North Central region. With that population growth comes a sizable lift in African American buying power, which soared from $971 billion to $1.6 trillion from 2010-2020 and is on track to reach $1.8 trillion by 2024.
Significantly, there has been a 46% increase among Black Americans 18+ who have a household income of $100k or more during the past seven years, per Scarborough.
As advertisers look to tap into this market following years of under-investment, the Katz Multicultural report makes a case for radio as a trusted medium in the Black community. Black American consumers are 29% more likely than the average U.S. consumer to believe that radio is a very trustworthy medium. Citing research from MRI-Simmons and Nielsen, the Katz report shows African Americans are 41% more likely to agree they enjoy ads on radio, 28% more likely to say advertising on radio provides me with useful information about bargains and 27% more prone to say it provides me with useful info about new products and services.
Zeroing in on Blacks who are heavy radio listeners, MRI-Simmons data shows they have a 20% better household financial outlook than the average consumer. It also shows heavy radio-listening Blacks 18+ changed many of their buying habits during the COVID pandemic, such as purchasing more gadgets and accessories, home goods, beauty products and auto accessories.
Download the “The Black American Consumer’s Influence” report HERE.